February 27, 2009 Responding to rumors that it may pull out of plasma manufacturing, LG reaffirmed its commitment to the category in a press release issued today. In its entirety, it says:
LG REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO PLASMA BUSINESS
Seoul, Korea, February 27, 2009LG Electronics is one of the world's leading producers of plasma display panels (PDPs) and plasma TVs.
As a founding member of the Plasma Display Coalition, we are committed to the plasma business and we believe plasma TVs are an important segment in the flat panel display sector. In addition, unlike some current and former plasma TV players, LG possesses core technologies for plasma TVs and PDP modules, giving us unique advantages in the market. We have invested heavily to strengthen the LG brand in this segment and will continue to do so.
The demand for plasma TVs is still growing. Based on this, we have set a goal to sell 3 million plasma TVs in 2009, giving us 19 percent of the total plasma TV market. We will focus primarily on plasma TVs 50 inches and larger, where demand is highest.
To help us achieve our goal for this year, LG is introducing new plasma TVs with advanced features like wireless Bluetooth connectivity and Full HD resolution, along with innovative frameless designs. Additionally, LG is initiating and expanding relationships with both premium retailers and mass merchandisers through proactive collaboration in promotional activities for plasma TVs.
To make our plasma production even more efficient, we shifted obsolete production lines over to solar panel manufacturing in 2008, and increased capacity of our more efficient lines. In 2009, we integrated our PDP module and plasma TV businesses to leverage vertical efficiencies between sets and components and create a stronger supply chain.
LG will continue to develop a wide range of plasma displays fully accommodating customer needs and wants.
LG also said it will follow through on plans to release six new plasma models, including two 60-inch, three 50-inch, and one 42-inch. Four of them will be 1080p. Alliances with Yahoo, Netflix, and YouTube will bring online content from those sources. The two top-line PS80 models will also include a significant new feature, THX Media Director, which enables hardware and software to coordinate the automation of picture and sound settings. If implemented in enough software, this could be a pretty big deal.